Be Prepared for Coronavirus Communications

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Best Practices for Coronavirus Communications

It’s natural for communities to turn to hospitals during times of health crisis. The outbreak of COVID-19 is a prime example of the important emergency-response role hospitals fill. Over the last several weeks, we’ve seen hospitals across the country prepare for and respond to growing numbers of cases and concerns of the novel coronavirus. 

The pandemic also has driven hospital communicators to update crisis communications plans and implement those efforts. Following are several best practices and resources for planning and communicating about COVID-19 emergency response.

Preparation:

Facilities still finalizing preparations...


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Strengthen Cyber Security in Four Steps

In January, there were almost as many cyber security breaches in healthcare as there were days. Providers, health plans and their associates reported 29 breaches affecting about 438,000 patients to the federal government in the first month of 2020, according to data reported by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. The largest single breach in 2019 exposed 11.5 million patients’ data. 

Across all industries, system glitches and human error account for 25 percent and 24 percent of breaches, respectively, but the majority—51 percent—are...


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4 Best Practices for Hospital Supply Chain Management

Hospital supply chain management has become a red-hot buzzword these days in the medical field, and its importance seems to be growing exponentially every few months. Most hospitals are faced with very tight budgets, and that means that in addition to being as cost-effective in every area as possible, that many hospitals are forced to take a hard look at cost-cutting measures throughout their organizations.

The supply chain has come under increasing scrutiny for this very reason, because it is ripe for generating savings in a number of areas, and...


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Four Tips to Prepare for CMS Price Transparency Final Rule

Final Rule Challenged in Court, but Hospitals Should Still Prepare

As most hospital leaders know, the new CMS Price Transparency Final Rule requiring hospitals to disclose the rates they negotiate with insurers has been challenged in court. Four hospital associations and three independent hospitals are suing Health and Human Services (HSS), which oversees CMS, over the Final Rule’s statutory basis. As the case wends its way through the legal system, hospitals are advised to go ahead with preparations for complying with the rule, which is set to take effect Jan....


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3 Benefits of Working With a GPO - Efficiency

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3 Benefits of Working With a Hospital Group Purchasing Organization (GPO)

Across the United Sates, news of the rising cost of healthcare is spreading. The U.S. government reported that Americans spent $3.65 trillion on healthcare in 2018. This level of spending is by far the highest in the developed world, and there is an ongoing debate about why healthcare is so expensive and what can be done about it. In the 1980s, Congress took a look at Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) and found that GPOs can help reduce healthcare costs for both the government and private health-care sectors.

What Is a...

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Bringing Big Data to Bear on Supply Chain Optimization

In 2020, supply chain costs are projected to surpass labor as the greatest expense for the average hospital. That’s why the supply chain continues to be a main focus of cost-reduction efforts. Moving forward, however, hospitals are making strategic and data-driven supply chain changes to bring about more effective care delivery. Gone are the days of relegating supply chain to a cost-reduction target. In fact, larger hospital systems have elevated the supply chain leader’s role to a C-level position, reflecting the sophistication required for an optimized supply chain.

Data-driven Supply...


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Integrating physical and mental healthcare

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Treating the Whole Person: Mental Health Integration

GUEST BLOG

By Jennifer Franklin, Chief Clinical Officer, Yoakum Community Hospital

Like many hospitals, Yoakum Community Hospital sees an uptick in patients receiving geropsychiatric services in winter. The holiday season is, therefore, a good time to talk about the mental health needs of this population. With the New Year approaching, it’s also a good time for hospitals to resolve to better address those needs, not just during the holidays but all throughout the year. Yoakum—a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital in rural South Central Texas—accomplishes this through integrated care, which...


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Social Determinants of Health

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Swimming Upstream: Meeting the Challenges of Social Determinants of Health

It’s been said that patients’ ZIP codes matter more than their genetic codes when it comes to health status. That’s because certain conditions in the places where people live, work, learn and play can pose greater health risks and poorer outcomes. In public health terms, these conditions are called social determinants of health or, sometimes, upstream determinants of health. Basically, the concept is that nonclinical factors influence health outcomes.

Scientific research has proven the concept holds. The Annals of Internal Medicine in 2014 examined rehospitalizations based on patients’ place of...


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How Unit Practice Councils Benefit the Hospital and Clinical Staff

Smaller hospitals may use overall nursing councils, but unit-based shared governance councils are a newer concept. Also known as unit practice councils, or UPCs, these formal groups representing each nursing unit are designed to involve frontline clinical staff in decision making. UPCs uphold the belief that no one understands staff and patient-care challenges better than the staff members themselves; hence, no one is better positioned to offer solutions.

At the organizational level, the benefits of UPCs include:

Increased employee engagement and satisfaction Improved patient care and satisfaction Increased efficiency through...

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Hospital Districts Provide Critical Financial Support for Community Hospitals

Stemming the closure rate of rural hospitals may depend in part on the financial support provided by hospital tax districts. This can be difficult to swallow for many who are reflexively against higher taxes. However, voters may come around when the case is made that a modest property- or sales-tax levy or hike could provide the necessary financial support to keep their hospital open and sustainable for their community.

Hospital Tax Districts Fill a Funding Gap

Tax districts help ensure the survival of hospitals that may be at risk of...


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